Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finding My Second Wind

It's hard to believe I trained for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon as I slogged through today's training run for the Tufts 10K. It was hot and humid and the heat and humidity were kicking me today. Note to self - don't start out too fast. As I looked through my times on Nike+ I was surprised to discover that I did a sub 15 and even a sub 14 pace during the first two miles. By mile 2.5, I was cooked and listened to my body slowing my pace way down. At that point, I thought that I was going to need to convert a training run to just getting the miles into my legs. I was fine with that and listened well to what my body needed.

I made sure to hydrate and have orange slices as I felt some cramping in my right calf. I didn't even look at my pacing. Tom asked me if I wanted to not do the full 10K distance today.

I told him that I have never aborted a training run nor did I ever not finish a race. No - I was going to get through even if I needed to "just walk".

We found shade and as the miles passed by, I got a second wind. I began to do fartleks as we overtook people who were walking along the river. On the bridge, a runner announced, "on your left." He was going at a very fast pace and part of me wanted to take off after him just like you see those little dogs who want to take off and run after a dog twice their size. Tom had to hold me back.

Tom and I talked about the stresses of the past two weeks. I shared with him that I can feel healing shifts happening within me but the healing takes a lot of energy. There were different life events happening around us that we talked about and the feeling of lightness I felt at the end of my last massage treatment at Sollievo Massage and Bodywork returned.

I was ready to finish strong!

We arrived on Commonwealth Avenue and ran down the Commonwealth Avenue mall which was shaded. We were surprised to see we were almost at 6.2 miles even though we were not near where the finish line will be on Charles Street. We realized we went too far to the right on Memorial Drive before turning around. We decided to go straight through the Gardens. It was gorgeous; a scene you find only in Boston with weeping willows, Swan Boats, street musicians and flowers of every color in full bloom.

Once we reached 6.2 miles we were able to slow the pace down to a walk and thoroughly enjoy our surroundings.

My average pace was 16'20" which was 10 seconds off of my time two weeks ago and 30 seconds off of my time the week before that. Last week, the weather conditions were perfect and I felt wonderful, able to do a 15'18"/mile pace. The first week I went the 10K distance, I took it slow and easy at an 18'41"/mile pace staying well within my comfort zone.

I need to be extremely patient with myself during my running comeback. It's easy to get frustrated and remember when I was an endurance runner going long training for Boston. I walked the only path I could walk back in 2011 after my nephew's suicide. I am blessed to be able to run again. I am persistent in my life and on the roads as I manage the ebb and flow of the effects of paralytic polio and violence. What a joy to discover that even though I felt cooked and slogged through several miles, I found my second wind and finished strong!

My memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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